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Missouri’s spring storms may cause storm anxiety for some


There's no stopping a severe storm from coming to Mid-Missouri and for many people, storms make them feel powerless and can cause storm anxiety.

Arpit Aggarwal, MU Health Care child and adolescent psychiatrist said storm anxiety fears can range from a minor to severe.

“For various reasons, sometimes the level of anxiety goes above and beyond what a normal anxiety is and that's when it starts causing distress," Aggarwal said.

Storm anxiety is commonly found in children, but adults feel it, too, and can last someone's whole life.

Heather Hill said she's been afraid of storms since she was a child.

“I totally trace my fear of thunderstorms back to when I was a kid, and I just think ever since then I've had a fear of the thunder and the lightning," Hill said.

Aggarwal said over-preparing for a storm can ease anxiety.

"One of the main things that why this anxiety occurs is because we feel so powerless against nature. Communication is the most important and also all the preparation you can take," Aggarwal said.

Adele Somma, a licensed professional counselor, said distracting oneself can also ease storm anxiety.

"You can also focus on distraction, maybe watch a movie you've been intending to watch, maybe do some cleaning," Somma said.

In more serious cases, severe weather events in Missouri, like tornados and floods, can cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder aka PTSD.

Somma said if someone is experiencing PTSD symptoms they should reach out for help.

"For PTSD you really do want to get counseling because that's really a change in the body," Somma said.

Experts said severe weather anxiety can commonly be found in first responders that are called out to severe weather events.

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Leila Mitchell

Leila is a Penn State graduate who started with KMIZ in March 2021. She studied journalism and criminal justice in college.


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